Leading Creativity in Society Nationally and Internationally: Meet the 2019/20 Clore Fellows


Twenty five new Fellows will embark on the Clore Fellowship this autumn, the 16th cohort of leaders from the arts and cultural sector, hailing from England, Ireland, India, Brazil, Hong Kong, South Africa and beyond.

The Clore Fellowship is a bespoke professional development opportunity and seeks to develop leaders from across a wide range of cultural disciplines and sectors. Following a rigorous and highly competitive selection process Fellows have been chosen for their creativity, curiosity and potential to collaborate.

The new cohort includes artists, managers, producers, directors and policy makers; creative and dynamic individuals who use storytelling and diverse cultural traditions as stimulus for their practice; manage award-winning organisations and projects; and use creative practice to generate new approaches to policy development. They work across 11 different cultural disciplines, from solo workers to those in 200+ people organisations; are based in six regions across the UK and eight countries around the world.

Fellows are empowered to curate new creative experiences and opportunities; to experiment with and challenge existing ideas and structures; and explore creative and civic engagement to drive positive change - within cultural institutions and programmes, the wider cultural sector, and the creativity of society as a whole.

Clore Leadership alumni lead cultural policy and practice, are entrepreneurs and innovators across the cultural and creative industries, as well as leading some of the most prestigious organisations in the country and abroad.  The Programme’s alumni include Axel Ruger, Secretary and Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Arts; Kully Thiarai, newly appointed Creative Director of Leeds 2023 (formerly Artistic Director of National Theatre Wales); Jackie Wylie, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of the National Theatre of Scotland; and Gus Casely Hayford, Director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art; amongst many.

Darren Henley OBE, Chief Executive of Arts Council England:

‘We want the people making decisions in arts organisations, museums and libraries to come from the widest possible range of backgrounds - as we know by bringing people with different life experiences together, we see the spark of new creative ideas and ways of working. This exciting group of Clore Fellows are an impressive bunch. They’ll be the creative leaders of tomorrow, making decisions that influence the development of cultural organisations for decades to come.’

Moira Sinclair, Chair of Clore Leadership:

‘Our arts and cultural sector is only able to flourish with dynamic, diverse and curious leaders; those that are ambitious, innovative and able to inspire workforces and audiences alike. I’m delighted to welcome the newest cohort of Fellows, my first as Chair of Clore Leadership. As an inaugural Fellow, I know a little about their year ahead and I hope they grab this opportunity now and for the cultural leaders they will become.’

Hilary Carty, Director, Clore Leadership:

‘It is a great pleasure to be working with the 2019/20 Clore Fellows, a group that represents the breadth and depth of cultural organisations and practices in the UK and around the globe.  This 16th cohort of Clore Fellows demonstrates the passion and value our founders the Clore Duffield Foundation place on the leadership of culture.  Such a significant investment for the best part of two decades, alongside that of Arts Council England and the many strategic partners who make our work possible, continues to achieve brilliant outcomes and rewards for culture in society.’ 

We are hugely grateful to the many strategic partners who have joined us in strengthening the workforce and driving excellence and innovation in the leadership of culture.

The major funding partners for the Clore Leadership Programme in 2019/20 are: the Clore Duffield Foundation which initiated the programme in 2003; Arts Council England, which funds the Fellowship and a range of other Clore Leadership programmes; a-n The Artists Information Company; Arts Council Ireland; Art Fund; the Arts and Humanities Research Council; BBC; Chevening Secretariat through the Foreign and Commonwealth Office; the Gatsby Charitable Foundation; the Home Affairs Bureau of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region through Hong Kong Arts Development Council; National Lottery Heritage Fund; National Trust; The Linbury Trust and Wellcome Trust. 

Open Fellowships supported by Arts Council England


Alia is an artist, educator & producer. Her practice is based on storytelling techniques and traditions and, as well as performing, she curates and produces cultural events at venues including chairing the National Theatre’s ‘We Need to Talk…’ sessions since 2017 and the launch weekend of the new Albukhary Gallery of Islamic Arts at the British Museum in 2018. This year Alia was awarded the Writers’ Guild Olwen Wymark Award for supporting new writing.


Sarah Bird is a Director of Wild Rumpus, a community interest company, which she co-founded 10 years ago. The organisation produces outdoor family arts festivals and cultural events throughout the UK as well as internationally in Brazil and New Zealand. Wild Rumpus is based at a woodland creation centre in Cheshire and focuses on the social, cultural and economic benefits of working in nature as well as shaping a cultural environment within which excellent outdoor work can thrive.


Sade Banks is an award-winning social entrepreneur and the founder of Sour Lemons, which addresses the lack of diverse leadership within the creative, cultural and social sectors. She is a creative producer who specialises in nurturing diverse talent, partnership development and community engagement. Sade has been recognised by Natwest WISE100 as a ‘Leading Woman in Social Business’, a Diversity Trailblazer and in 2015, received an award from Prince William for ‘Turning Her Life Around’.


Janine is the Manager, and drives the strategic vision of, The Hive in Worcester; home to Europe's only fully integrated Public and University Library. The Hive has won numerous awards including The Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards for Outstanding Library Team, the SCONUL Design Award and the Guardian University Award for Contribution to the Local Community. Previous roles include working at The Royal Shakespeare Company, The Dean Heritage Centre, The National Theatre and Peckham Library.


Andrew Marcus is Head of Communications at the Museum of London. A member of the museum’s Executive Board, he heads the team responsible for PR, marketing, social media and public affairs. His focus is on redefining the museum’s brand and attracting greater numbers of people who are more representative of London. Andrew serves as a trustee of Theatre Centre and has previously worked at the Science Museum.


Omeima is a textile and combined artist who has exhibited nationally and internationally. Omeima’s work in dyes, screen printing and Devoré technique explores themes of identity and change, communication, heritage and womanhood. Greatly influenced by her Sudanese heritage, she enjoys exploring influences from Arabic geometry and has collaborated with acclaimed flautist Ruth Montgomery as well as working with local communities in Brighton on PROCESSIONS and the Sudanese community in the UK on River Runs Through.

Art Fund Curator Fellowship supported by Art Fund


Sona Datta is an art historian, cultural collaborator, writer, curator and broadcaster who until recently was Head of South Asian art at the Peabody Essex Museum in Massachusetts where she extended the museum’s world-renowned collection of modern Indian art to now include the best contemporary art referencing all of South Asia. She previously worked at the British Museum and curated an exhibition at this year’s Venice Biennale entitled She Persists.

BBC Fellowship supported by the BBC


Kez is the Commissioning Editor for 6 -16 non-scripted content in the BBC’s Children’s department. She has been committed to working with children and young people through the Arts for over 30 years. She is responsible for some of the BBC’s most successful factual brands for young people including the multi award-winning My Life documentary series and the BAFTA-winning Operation Ouch!


Putul is an executive producer at BBC Children's department working on their factual and factual entertainment shows. She currently oversees the Cbeebies Presents strand which brings Shakespeare, ballet and opera to a pre-school audience. Starting her career as a newspaper reporter, she moved into the television industry as a political researcher before going into factual programmes and documentaries as a producer / director

Dance Fellowship supported by The Linbury Trust
Photography: Rachel Cherry


Lucy is Head of Creative Programmes at DanceEast, Suffolk and a self-confessed, lifelong dance enthusiast. Lucy specialises in dance education, community and engagement work for all ages and abilities and is passionate about creating opportunities for people to engage with excellent dance across the East of England.

Heritage Fellowship supported by NLHF


Melissa Strauss is a Policy Adviser for the National Lottery Heritage Fund where she has led work on intangible cultural heritage, oral history, community participation, volunteering, and children and young people. Melissa has previously worked in community development at Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery, and diversity and audience development at Arts Council England and is a co-founder of the Space Invaders campaign for women in museums and heritage.

Jerome Hynes Fellowship | Arts Council Ireland


Róisín Stack is a theatre maker and arts manager based in Galway, Ireland. Her areas of interest are artist & art form development. In 2018 she co-founded Theatre57, a collective of over 90 independent theatre artists advocating for investment in cultural infrastructure to enable professional development. Previously, Róisín held positions with Druid, Macnas and Clod Ensemble and was Director of Galway Theatre Festival for four years.

Music Education Fellowship | Arts Council England


Matt Wilde is a musician and Founding Director of Blaze; a youth-led charity that aims to develop the next generation of cultural producers. As a musician, Matt has performed and produced for major label-signed artists, with recent performances at festivals including Parklife, Leeds & Reading and the Great Escape. Matt is on the Board of pioneering music charity Brighter Sound and international concert venue the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester.

National Trust Fellowship | National Trust


Emily is Consultancy Manager at the National Trust and has over 25 years’ experience of heritage conservation work including land management, strategic planning, policy development and project management. She has served on a number of boards and committees including the Commission for a Sustainable 2012 Olympic Games and the South East Committee of the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Theatre Fellowships | Gatsby Charitable Foundation
Photography: Victor Frankowski


Naomi is driven by a belief that theatre belongs to everyone and has over 20 years’ experience of working in theatre and community development. She set up Brighton People’s Theatre (BPT) in 2015, partnering with community organisations to stimulate and engage.  This year BPT has been exploring the idea of a permanent people’s theatre in Brighton, engaging with many who are experiencing the art form for the first time.  Naomi has previously worked for Battersea Arts Centre, Old Vic New Voices, Comic Relief and Locality.

Photography: Robert Day


Esther Richardson is the Artistic Director of Pilot Theatre; a national touring company making work primarily for audiences aged 12 to 25. The company’s major recent productions have included acclaimed adaptations of Noughts and Crosses and Brighton Rock, as well as work which has explored the integration of immersive technology into theatre. Over almost a twenty-year career, she has directed and/or produced over thirty productions, including two short films, and has held the positions of Associate Artist at Soho Theatre, Derby LIVE and Cast in Doncaster.

Visual Arts Fellowship supported by a-n


Lucy is a visual artist and co-director to Paradise Works; her practice is concerned with people, process and place. She has been awarded residencies and commissions producing sculpture and installation with organisations including National Trust, Cadw, the Welsh Government’s historic environment service, Arts Council of Wales, Castlefield Gallery, and her work is held in the permanent collection of MIMA. Paradise Works provides arts production and exhibition space to a proactive community of contemporary artists.

Wellcome Trust Fellowship | Wellcome Trust


Stephen Bennett is a multimedia artist and policy-maker working at the intersection of art, science and politics. Stephen works in the Policy Lab team in the UK Cabinet Office. Stephen has led on projects using user-centered design to improve the development of streets in England, employed ethnography to help improve welfare provision for those with long term mental or physical illness and incorporated participatory art techniques to help understand how critical national infrastructure is dependent upon satellites. As an artist he has collaborated with Nesta at Tobacco Dock, CERN in Geneva, Tate Exchange, Imperial College and the Royal Society.

Chevening Fellowships

Supported by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office 


Eduardo is Artistic Editor of the Museum of Tomorrow in Rio de Janeiro, a technological scientific museum, the most visited in South America, developing exhibitions and experiences with a focus on audience engagement in social themes. His exhibitions have included Food for Tomorrow – Feeding 10 Billion, which won a Bronze Medal at The Grands Prix (formerly known as the International Design and Communication Awards).


Following his work behind the scenes in ballet in Beijing, Zhongjiang is currently production coordinator for Western Operas in the Department of Production and Artistic Administration at the new National Centre for the Performing Arts. He has worked with over 30 opera productions and led the successful co-production of Andrea Chenier with the Royal Opera House, and Falstaff with the Wiener Staatsoper.


Tumy is the Head of Programmes and Development at Business & Arts South Africa (BASA). Her current projects include the BASA Scale-Up and DAC Debut programme where she develops programmes, facilitates capacity building and creates platforms for skills and knowledge sharing for creatives and cultural organisations across South Africa. She has served on the Boards of the Pan African Youth Network for a Culture of Peace and Arterial Network South Africa.  She was selected as one of the 200 Young South Africans for 2019 by Mail & Guardian South Africa.


Lina Mowafy is currently the Managing Partner, CEO and Chief Curator at Tam.Gallery, which she co-founded in 2012. Under her leadership Tam.Gallery (formerly known as The Arts-Mart Gallery) has grown to become the largest multi-platform art organisation in Egypt; comprising of both online and offline galleries, a massive exhibition space and a strong reliable corporate art arm for many diverse organisations.

Photography: Theatre Scene Cape Town

REFILWE NKOMO | South Africa

Refilwe Nkomo is a Johannesburg based multidisciplinary artist, curator, educator and  producer. She creates cultural and artistic interventions, programs and installations using various mediums at the intersection of arts and social justice. She co-founded We Are Here (WAH) and Izindlovu Collective and her research and performance have been the recipient of numerous awards. Her work has been presented in South Korea, Ghana, Botswana, Brazil, Germany and the United States of America


Ihitashri is the Founder CEO of MITHILAsmita, an award winning Social Enterprise for heritage Madhubani Paintings of India. Ihitashri is also the founding organiser of Traditional Art Entrepreneurship Summit TAES, a platform to strengthen the Indian artisan sector and has contributed significantly to artisan entrepreneurship policy research at Ministry for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME). She has also advised the Centre for Cultural Resources and Training, Ministry of Culture, Government of India.

Hong Kong Fellowship

Supported by the Home Affairs Bureau of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region through Hong Kong Arts Development Council                                             


Joycelyn is General Manager of arthouse TV channel MOViE MOViE, part of Edko Films Ltd., which she launched in 2012, together with its cinema in 2017, and OTT service in 2018. In addition to publishing bimonthly film culture magazine MMM, she is the curator of interdisciplinary film festival LIFE IS ART, and advises on numerous local film and animation projects. Joycelyn previously worked for TVB, Hong Kong Arts Centre, and PCCW NowTV.